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Čeněk Růžička: We can fight back if necessary, but what about our children? Go vote!

Prague, 23.10.2013 0:05, (ROMEA)
Romani activists Čeněk Růžička (right) and Jozef Miker (left). (PHOTO:  František Kostlán)
Romani activists Čeněk Růžička (right) and Jozef Miker (left). (PHOTO: František Kostlán)

Romale, I presume you are all noticing how a large proportion of the political candidates are speaking about us in the television debates, how so-called experts on Romani people are proposing solutions for our lives. Notice how almost all of those solutions call for forceful measures - we're going to increase the numbers of police officers in the streets, hire police assistants, introduce CCTV systems in troubled localities. 

You are certainly also registering how the candidates are supporting the mayors of towns and villages in adopting anti-constitutional decrees restricting our freedoms, and how they are supporting the establishment of so-called militias. Despite the fact that most of us Roma live beneath the poverty line, they are calling for tougher rules on who qualifies for welfare. 

It is evident that these candidates, without any shame whatsoever, are exploiting these elections to dirty the reputation of Romani people because a large portion of the majority population responds to such sentiment, and the candidates will probably get into the lower house because of it. Romale, when we compare the previous campaign for the lower house with this year's, we find that today there are many more candidates playing the anti-Romani card, and in a disproportionately harsher way.

Let's not doubt that these candidates already have laws ready and waiting that will deviously, indirectly aim to get us to move away from this country. In the best case scenairo, they will force us to survive on the outskirts of towns, out of view of the majority society, where we will live lives comparable to people in the Third World (many of us are already living such lives now).    

We adults will somehow endure this, grinding our teeth, but what about our children? How are they to handle their own futures? 

Who will lend them a helping hand and help them find their way out of this vicious circle? I know people who could do this, and I must tell you that I myself am one of them.

We Romani candidates have the courage to step into this unfriendly environment and bring the other MPs who are lost in their own fantasies back to reality. Through our engagement and fortitude, we will show them how we behave towards those in need, that we do not just follow our own personal interests when we help in places others do not.

We will not wrap our critique of current conditions in glitzy, incomprehensible phraseology. We may even show them that we are fair and that we can, I hope, make ourselves understood.   

Romale, the day is coming soon when we will realize how great our power is in the elections, when we participate in deciding who gets into the Chamber of Deputies, who will create and pass the laws that will influence our lives for a long time to come. We Romani candidates, because we are just like you, have compassion for your fates and know your desires.

A considerable majority of you do not have access to the internet. I am therefore urgently turning to those of you who have the opportunity to read this appeal.

Warn your fellow Romani people of the threats that await us if we do not start addressing our own affairs ourselves to a decisive degree. Let's inform one another about the Romani candidates who want to monitor and eventually correct the anti-social laws coming from the lower house. 

These Romani candidates will always stand up for you should your human rights be violated. Call on your fellow Roma to go to the polls and to vote for Romani candidates in the regions where they are running. 

The Romani candidates of the Equal Opportunities Party are running on the Green Party lists. In Prague Standa Tišer is running, in the Ústí Region Jozef Miker and Štefan Tišer are running, in South Bohemia Eliška Hartlová is running, in the Moravian-Silesian Region Antonie Burianská and Elena Gorolová are running, in the Liberec Region Emílie Horáčková is running, and in the Hradec Králové Region I, Čeněk Růžička, am running in fourth place.         

It is important that you go to the polls on either the 25th or 26th of October and give us your vote by circling our numbers on the candidate list. In the regions where there are no Romani candidates, vote for the Greens - it will be the same as if you voted for a Romani candidate.

We thank you!

Savo Rom le Romen navolinel, našavel peskery pativ!

Čeněk Růžička, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Strana rovných příležitostí, Strana zelených, Volby, Commentary, Czech republic, Čeněk Růžička, Election 2013, Equal Opportunities Party, human rights, Roma



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